§ 1621. Competency of community and District courts.
§ 1622. Orders for custody, support, and alimony.
§ 1623. Annulment—Authorized—Grounds.
§ 1624. Annulment—Residency requirements.
§ 1625. Annulment—Legitimacy of issue of annulled marriage.
§ 1626. Divorce—Grounds.
§ 1627. Divorce—Residency requirements.
§ 1628. Divorce—Forgiveness as defense.
§ 1629. Divorce—Procurement or connivance as defense.
An annulment or a divorce authorized by this subchapter may be granted by any community court or District court within whose jurisdiction either of the parties has resided for three months immediately prior to the filing of the complaint.
In granting or denying an annulment or a divorce, the court may make such orders for custody of minor children for their support, for support of either party, and for the disposition of either or both parties' interest in any property in which both have interests, as it deems justice and the best interests of all concerned may require. While an action for annulment or divorce is pending, the court may make temporary orders covering any of these matters pending final decree. Any decree as to custody or support of minor children or of the parties shall be subject to revision by the court at any time upon motion of either party and such notice, if any, as the court deems justice requires.
A decree annulling a marriage may be rendered on any ground existing at the time of the marriage which makes the marriage illegal and void or voidable. A court may, however, refuse to annul a marriage which has been ratified and confirmed by voluntary cohabitation after the obstacle to the validity of the marriage has ceased, unless the public interest requires that the marriage be annulled.
Divorces from marriage may be granted under this subchapter for the following causes and no other:
(2) the guilt of either party toward the other of such cruel treatment, neglect, or personal indignities, whether or not amounting to physical cruelty, as to render the life of the other burdensome and intolerable and their further living together unsupportable;
(3) willful desertion continued for a period of not less than one year;
(4) habitual intemperance in the use of intoxicating liquor or drugs continued for a period of not less than one year;
(5) the sentencing of either party to imprisonment for life or for three years or more. After divorce for such cause, no pardon granted to the party so sentenced shall affect such divorce;
(6) the insanity of either party where the same has existed for three years or more;
(7) the contracting by either party of leprosy;
(8) the separation of the parties for two consecutive years without cohabitation, whether or not by mutual consent;
(9) willful neglect by the husband to provide suitable support for his wife when able to do so when failure to do so is because of his idleness, profligacy, or dissipation.
Case annotations: Where there is diversity of citizenship between the parties, litigation involving domestic relations issues, including custody and child support, falls within the jurisdiction of the FSM Supreme Court. Mongkeya v. Brackett, 2 FSM R. 291, 292 (Kos. 1986).
Statutory provisions in the Trust Territory Code concerning domestic relations are part of state law because domestic relations fall within the powers of the states and not the national government. Pernet v. Aflague, 4 FSM R. 222, 224 (Pon. 1990).
In litigation brought by a mother seeking child support payments from the father, the court will not grant the defendant-father's motion to change the venue to the FSM state in which he now resides from the FSM state in which: (1) the mother initiated the litigation; (2) the couple was married and resided together; (3) their children were born and have always lived; and (4) the mother still resides. Pernet v. Aflague, 4 FSM R. 222, 224 (Pon. 1990).
Since the determination of support payments payable by a divorced husband is a matter governed by state law, the FSM Supreme Court in addressing such an issue is obligated to attempt to apply the pertinent state statutes in the same fashion as would the highest state court in the pertinent jurisdiction. Pernet v. Aflague, 4 FSM R. 222, 224 (Pon. 1990).
Under Pohnpeian state law after confirmation of a customary separation or divorce under 39 TTC 5, the court may order custody and child support under 39 TTC 103. Pernet v. Aflague, 4 FSM R. 222, 225 (Pon. 1990).
Although under historical Pohnpeian customary law only the husband had rights over the children of the marriage, now both parents have rights and responsibilities in connection with a marriage and the court should take this into consideration in determining child custody rights and support payment obligations in cases of customary divorce. Pernet v. Aflague, 4 FSM R. 222, 225 (Pon. 1990).
National courts can exercise jurisdiction over divorce cases where there is diversity of citizenship although domestic relations are primarily the subject of state law. Youngstrom v. Youngstrom, 5 FSM R. 335, 336 (Pon. 1992).
Since a divorce case involves the status or condition of a person and his relation to other persons the law to be applied is the law of the domicile. Youngstrom v. Youngstrom, 5 FSM R. 335, 337 (Pon. 1992).
Under the law of Pohnpei a court may award child custody, and, if necessary order child support. The standard to be applied is the "best interests of the child." Youngstrom v. Youngstrom, 5 FSM R. 335, 337 (Pon. 1992).
A marriage procured and induced by fraud is void ab initio and the party whose consent was so procured is entitled to a judgment annulling the marriage. Burrow v. Burrow, 6 FSM R. 203, 204-05 (Pon. 1993).
Under the law of Pohnpei support of the children is the responsibility of both parents. A court may order the parent without custody to make support payments. In granting or denying a divorce, the court may make such orders for custody of minor children, for their support as it deems justice and the best interests of all concerned may require. Youngstrom v. Youngstrom, 6 FSM R. 304, 306 (Pon. 1993).
If a court deems justice and the best interest of all concerned so require, it may award past child support. When considering child support, it is the best interests of the children with which a court is most concerned. Youngstrom v. Youngstrom, 6 FSM R. 304, 306 (Pon. 1993).
No divorce shall be granted where the ground for the divorce has been forgiven by the injured party. Such forgiveness may be shown by express proof or by the voluntary cohabitation of the parties with knowledge of the fact and restoration of the forgiving party to all marital rights. Such forgiveness implies a condition that the forgiving party must be treated with conjugal kindness. This forgiveness is revoked and the original ground for divorce is revived if the party forgiven commits an act of constituting a like or other ground for divorce or is guilty of conjugal unkindness sufficiently habitual and gross to show that the conditions of forgiveness have not been accepted in good faith or have not been fulfilled.